Apparently I am a Sociopath...

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There are no ethics to any of this, and the fallacy of “rights” shouldn’t even enter into it. Ethical duty is a subject for another debate, but I will state that it is my belief that there can be no “ethical duty” as ethics are on an individual basis, and to try to force a conforming to an ethic that isn’t mine, will make me resist… violently if necessary.

Maintaining that all ethics are matters of individual choice effectively forecloses any debate on the issue, since all you have to do is turn your back and say “that’s not what I believe in.” It’s also intellectually dishonest, since unless you’re some sort of sociopath, you adhere to some common set of ethics as the rest of humanity.

Moreover, the point of this thread was weirddave asking vegetarians to explain their belief in an ethical basis for choosing vegetarian diet. If you truly believe that all ethics are a matter of individual choice, then you should accept the statement I have made regarding the ethics I have and resist the temptation to debate whether mine are correct or not. Thanks for playing, I’m sure Vanna has some lovely parting gifts for you. **


This is plucked from the Vegan debate board, but I figured I would start a new thread, and discuss my apparent Sociopathology… hehehe

I could be wrong, but this individual seems to say that since I claim that ethics are a matter of individual choice, that I am wrong and obviously follow some “universal ethic” of humanity, or risk being a sociopath. Well, it’s my personal belief that everyone has their own set of ethics… and that yes, for the most part, a lot of them are similar to each other, out of culteral imprint or common sense.

But I would like those of you who feel that I am a sociopath if I don’t follow those ethics to tell me what the ethics are, so that I may debate them. I will surprise you, I’m fairly sure.

For the record, BTW, I could care less if someone is Vegan. I just feel that claiming it on some sort of ethical/moral high-ground is laughably wrong.

But what I really want to get to is the ethics thing… hehehe

Tristan: *I could be wrong, but this individual seems to say that since I claim that ethics are a matter of individual choice, that I am wrong and obviously follow some “universal ethic” of humanity, or risk being a sociopath. Well, it’s my personal belief that everyone has their own set of ethics… and that yes, for the most part, a lot of them are similar to each other, out of culteral imprint or common sense. *

Okay then, it sounds as though you don’t really believe that ethics are entirely a matter of individual choice, since there is a factor of “cultural imprinting” or “common sense” that creates ethical systems that are shared among the members of a society. Anybody who completely disregards the shared ethical system(s) of his or her society is a sociopath, by definition. So saying that you can talk about ethics as a completely individual matter without reference to any shared ethical system in society would indeed be fallacious, or sociopathic. Sounds like that’s all your unnamed opponent was trying to say.

As for what the shared ethical principles of our particular society are and how they should be interpreted, that’s a topic for a thousand Great Debates! There’s certainly a lot of room in the shared ethical system for personal choices about ethics, and disagreement between individuals too. But it’s nonsense to say that that means that ethics are solely an individual choice.

I don’t think ethics are a matter of individual choice. I do, however, believe that they can vary according to the situation you’re in.

Morality is not a matter of individual choice or of cultural norms. It can be situational, but very rarely is.

I eat bunny rabbits and baby lambs.

Baby lambs are very yummy if marinated in a mixture of beer, Tamari soy sauce, garlic, a splash of red wine vinegar, some sage, rosemary and a dash of cayenne pepper.

I wonder how many vegans who think it’s evil to eat bunny rabbits and baby lambs think it’s ok to kill baby humans as long as they’re still too small to live outside their mother’s womb…

I’d better quit now. I’m in danger of turning into a troll.

agisofia: * I wonder how many vegans who think it’s evil to eat bunny rabbits and baby lambs think it’s ok to kill baby humans as long as they’re still too small to live outside their mother’s womb…

I’d better quit now. I’m in danger of turning into a troll.*

Too late, agisofia, but since your “question” is such a perfect example of this complicated interrelationship between shared and individual ethics, I’ll answer it anyway. Vegans (or anybody else) who believe in a woman’s right to choose an abortion would respond that there are no baby humans too small to live outside their mother’s womb: a zygote/embryo/fetus is not a baby human.

There is a classic example of the way a society’s shared ethical principle (it is wrong to kill baby humans) can contain sufficient ambiguity (is a fetus a baby human?) to open up room for differences in individual ethics (abortion is/is not wrong). There you go, Tristan: case in point.

Many rational ethics derive from the presumed commonality of people. It is considered “normal” to ascribe to other human beings a similar quality of internal experience as your own. Ethics being a complicated subject, even the assumption of commonality leads to a variety of possible theories.

A person with sociopathic personality disorder does not ascribe the same quality of experience to other people as he or she does to him or herself. Often they will see other people as robots or animals, without conscious experience.

Truth, it is a hard area to discuss, mostly because of things like abortion and other “moral/ethical issues”. Folks can debate with logic and reason, and invariably someone comes along with a “I’m right, and it says so here, in this book with all the answers, or 'cause an ambiguous amorphous omniscient being says so” kind of attitude.

What I meant, was what are the “Universal” ethics? I feel that ethics can be situational, but a rational human must know how to discard ethics that no longer apply to a given environment.

BTW, since I don’t have a uterus, my opinion is of no consequence on the abortion issues… not my call.

OK, I think the universal ethics/morality come down to-

Don’t kill people -unless they are trying to harm or kill you- I do believe in the right to self defense. (I think this should extend to unborn people, but apparently a lot of people don’t agree.)
Don’t take other people’s stuff without their permission.
Don’t sleep with other people’s lawfully wedded spouses.

There are a lot of business-type ethics, on the order of delivering the product or service promised in exchange for funds that could be considered universal.

Outside of these, it’s pretty much a matter of personal or religious beliefs. The vegetarian/vegan vs. confirmed carnivore issue would fall into this category.

Situational ethics would involve doing something that is morally/ethically wrong in order to prevent a greater evil. Like telling that nice young S.S. officer that no, I don’t think my next door neighbor has Jews hiding in his basement. Lying is wrong, but betraying another human being to certain death is a far greater evil.

Now would somebody please tell me at which point a human embryo becomes a human being?
And I don’t think Tristan is a sociopath.

BTW, I think the lamb chops have marinated long enough. About twelve minutes under the broiler ought to do it.

When its born, if someone is going to a abortion clinic to get a baby aborted and its born early on the way then killing it would be wrong however had it not been born killing it would be right.

agisofia said

I also think that unborn people should be able to kill in self defense. :}

No need to be so self-effacing. Of course you can have an opinion on abortion. Lacking a uterus does not automatically assign one mute on this or any subject. Morality is not gender-assigned. Using this type of reasoning, only men could have an opinion on homosexual prison rape, or on funding for prostate cancer, and so on.

The only ethic that entails from commonality is the negative form of the golden rule: don’t treat someone in a manner you yourself would not wish to be treated.

The negative formulation avoids the amusing flaw of the masochist’s attempt to apply the traditional wording.

The corollary (contrapositive) to the negative formulation is that if you treat someone in a particular way, you imply consent for others to treat you in a similar manner.

Ok, you got me. My opinion is that I think the option should be available, but with limits. I knew a young lady who used it as birth control…

she would get pregnant, wait a month or two, and then abort. she had at least 6 that I know of, I lost track of her a few years ago.

thanks… although someone who uses Hitchhikers Guide in their sig may not be able to tell the difference… hehehehe
I’m with you on most of the societal ethics… you have a good point on the “greater good” issue. this is something I will have to think on for a bit.

Fortunatly, in the US, it’s not liable to be that big a deal anytime soon (ie: until some time next week…)

Tristan:

“For the record, BTW, I could care less if someone is Vegan. I just feel that claiming it on some sort of ethical/moral high-ground is laughably wrong.”

Would you say the same about someone who says killing and hurting people is wrong on ethical/moral high-ground?

If so, then congratulations, you’re consistent. Not a common trait. If not, then why the distinction?

OK, I think the universal ethics/morality come down to-

agisofia:

"Don’t kill people -unless they are trying to harm or kill you- I do believe in the right to self defense. (I think this should extend to unborn people, but apparently a lot of people don’t agree.)
Don’t take other people’s stuff without their permission.
Don’t sleep with other people’s lawfully wedded spouses.

Outside of these, it’s pretty much a matter of personal or religious beliefs. The vegetarian/vegan vs. confirmed carnivore issue would fall into this category."

Okay, I’ll ask the obvious. Why is “don’t kill people” a universal rule, but not “don’t kill animals”? Why can’t I kill someone based on my personal beliefs?

For the record, I’d like to say I certainly don’t believe in universal morality. I just find humorus that many that do have always made exceptions for their desires. After all, alot of people believed in universal morality during the slavery era, but allowances to own the blacks.

Because an animal isn’t a person!

Really, I totally respect those who give animals the same rights as humans in terms of their right to not be eaten by us or killed for sport.

But to not see the distinction between humans and animals?


Yer pal,
Satan - Commissioner, The Teeming Minions

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*“I’m a big Genesis fan.”-David B. (Amen, brother!) **

Sure, there’s a distinction between animals and humans. (Although humans are, obviously, another kind of animal, so if we wanted to be anal, we would say "between human animals and nonhuman animals.) There’s also, at a more specific level, a difference between squirrels and Rottweilers. And between raccoons and Thompson’s gazelles. And between dolphins and carp.

None of that, of course, implies a hierarchy. Any hierarchy is arbitrarily imposed.

I am not entirely certain that any species on the planet has acquired immunity from being on somebody’s dinner menu. Not even humans.

I find it interesting that those of us who are fortunate enough not to be facing true hunger have the luxury to debate the morality of what’s going to be on our dinner manu. Starving people do not have that luxury and will eat whatever is available - sometimes even other people.

So to the OP - don’t get too bound up in dietary axioms of eating this and not eating that. Circumstances often force one to re-evaluate one’s beliefs and practices.

See, already we’ve delved into matters of opinion. I have a friend who has a very successful 15 year plus “open” marriage. Lawfully wedded and everything…don’t see anything wrong with someone sleeping with him (not that I have - not my type - besides, I have a successful “closed” marriage). On the other hand, one of my girlfriends slept with another girlfriends boyfriend - not legally wedded at all, but she (the jiltee) thought they had a monogomous understanding (and her girlfriend - the “homewrecker” knew that)…wrong, wrong, wrong…

It is my opinion - and only my opinion - that a fetus becomes a human being (or a “baby”) when the woman carrying it makes that distiction (sometimes the day the pregnancy test comes positive, sometimes significantly later), or when it is capable of surviving on its own without the birthmom’s help (which is not to say someone else can’t take responsibilty for giving it a bottle, or hooking it up to a respirator, but just that birthmother doesn’t have to physically support it). i.e. I am not obligated to use my body as a life support system.

Certainly, no one should look down their moral nose at a person living in an environment where the only food to eat most of the year are squirrels, or elks (or whatever other beastie is wandering around.)

However, in a society where people gorge on Big Macs while sporting huge pot bellies, some people may decide that forgoing meat (until the next famine comes) is the most moral thing to do. Certainly many food choices are available to them. Why not make a moral choice to try to be less wasteful, less cruel (or whatever)? It is not a difficult thing to do - no starvation will be involved in making such a choice.

But when the next famine does come, they can eat whatever moves if they wish. Because the options available to them have changed.

[QUOTE]
*Originally posted by Lethal Lynx *
**Tristan:

“For the record, BTW, I could care less if someone is Vegan. I just feel that claiming it on some sort of ethical/moral high-ground is laughably wrong.”

Would you say the same about someone who says killing and hurting people is wrong on ethical/moral high-ground?

If so, then congratulations, you’re consistent. Not a common trait. If not, then why the distinction?
**Well, to be honest, that’s where I am always in the grey area… I don’t think that killing someone, with a justifiable reason, is a bad thing. I don’t do so, 'cause our society frowns on instant justice and vigilanteism. Which is sad, but understandable given the current state of Americal thinking. I know that makes me a little odd, and having in depth discussions about this have weirded out a few of my friends and co-workers, so I generally don’t discuss it. For those of you that are worried, however, I don’t hear voices and I don’t want to kill people. I just don’t see it as wrong as most people do.
**OK, I think the universal ethics/morality come down to-

agisofia:

"Don’t kill people -unless they are trying to harm or kill you- I do believe in the right to self defense. (I think this should extend to unborn people, but apparently a lot of people don’t agree.)
Don’t take other people’s stuff without their permission.
Don’t sleep with other people’s lawfully wedded spouses.
** I agree with most of this… my take on the killing people thing is above, and as for taking things that aren’t yours, well, I’m still making up my mind on this.
As for the fidelity issue, well, as the other half of an open marriage, I don’t necessarily beieve this… but I wouldn’t help someone in a monogamous marriage cheat on their spouse. As a general rule, anyways.
In the end, marriage is about love and support and relationship… sex is a whole other issue, which for us is something seperate from marriage…